Study and Discussion Questions for Chapters 8 & 9 of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake

In these chapters, Gogol moves beyond his relatonships with American women of European descent and, through Ashima's insistence, agrees to meet with Moushumi, whom we first met at Gogol's fourteenth birthday party [73]. On the novel's terms, this relationship with an American woman of Bengali descent seems inevitable, as if it can finally provide Gogol the kind of comfort and love--based in a somewhat common personal and cultural history--necessary for a solid, lasting relationship. However, while this relationship--much to the surprise of both Gogol and Moushumi--seems to be the answer to both of their identity conflicts, to the issues affecting ABCDs generally, by the end of chapter nine we already see a developing erosion of the marriage. Consider the following issues as your read and review your reading of these chapters: